By Peter Gleason
Eight days before the Sixers open the 2016017 season, it appears that their pieces are coming together.
Center Jahlil Okafor participated in 5-on-5 scrimmages yesterday, the first full scrimmage he’s taken part in 17 days when he experienced soreness in his right knee on the final day of training camp.
Okafor underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee last March.
Okafor said he started experiencing soreness in the knee after playing against teammate Joel Embiid in the final scrimmage of training camp.
“I felt it initially after (practice ended),” Okafor said. “I was hoping the ice would help it, but I felt it initially after (practice). I remember I was icing it all the way on the bus back to Philadelphia, and when I woke up the next morning it was really sore so I called our guys and we started taking care of it.
“My knee is feeling better than what it did at training camp in my first 5-on-5,” Okafor said. “Now the priority is seeing how I recover and how I feel tomorrow when I wake up.”
“There is nothing wrong with the knee,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “It’s just a matter of getting through some inevitable pain from time to time.”
At the end of practice, Joel Embiid and Okafor were playing on the same team alongside Sergio Rodriguez, Nik Stauskas, and Gerald Henderson.
While Brown doesn’t anticipate the two big men starting the game together, he will play his two post-oriented centers together at times, and could look to end games with his big lineup.
“I don’t know where it’s going to end up. I know I’m not going to start them at the start of the season,” Brown said when asked whether they would eventually start together. “I hope when you have real minutes to play with, that you can do it more. Might we end games like that if I can save some of those minutes and just figure out how you can end a game? It’s all on the table.”